By Ron Neitsch | Contributed
An exciting time to be saltwater fishing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
Local annual salmon fishing regulation changes for area 20 (Sooke) now allow for larger wild spring/chinook salmon up to 85 centimetres to be retained by recreational fishers. Minimum chinook size limits remain at 45 centimetres.
A recent coho salmon opening also allows for two hatchery coho salmon per licensed angler per day. This means locals and visitors going salmon fishing can catch and keep not only larger fish, but also more fish.
Please check regulations on line at www.PAC.DFO-MPO.GC.CA or visit your local tackle provider for more information.
Salmon fishing has showed vast improvement over this time last year, many boats are reporting good catches of chinook salmon, and summer run coho are definitely in the area.
Halibut fishing has slowed down due to most fishers switching effort to salmon, as spiny dogfish (sharks) move into the area on their annual migration.
The sharks tend to take baits intended for Halibut, making fishing more difficult and expensive.
Crabbing in the harbour continues to be great. Crab fishing with fresh baits during an incoming tide usually produces best results.
Ron Neitsch is the owner of 2 Reel Fishing Adventures, based in Sooke.